Friday, March 31, 2023

COVID-19 Loosens Grip on Lafayette County

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor

The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Lafayette County dropped by more than 50 percent in the last week.

Since Feb. 8, there have been 228 new cases reported, down from 939 new cases the week before.

There were three deaths in the last seven days due to COVID-19. Since March 2020, there have been 14,943 cases and 173 deaths.

Area schools are reporting fewer cases among students and Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi is also reporting fewer people with COVID-19 are in the hospital.

As of Feb. 15, 59 percent of Lafayette’s population had at least one vaccination and 54 percent were fully vaccinated.

BMH-NM reported 16 patients were in the hospital Monday with COVID-19, half of the number reported the week before. Five were in the ICU.

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The Oxford School District also saw numbers drop among teachers and students.

From Feb. 7-13, the district reported just five new cases among students, down from 25 the week prior. There were 12 students in quarantine. Three weeks prior, the district had 261 new cases with more than 400 students and teachers being quarantined.

The Lafayette County School District evaluates its mask mandate policy on a week-to-week basis. Currently, the district is reporting three of its four schools are on a Low Level of Transmission, which means the district has had a low number of new cases at those schools and masks are not required this week on those school campuses.

One school, Lafayette Upper Elementary, is at a “Blue” or Moderate Level; however, masks are not required at that level.

All LCSD schools were on the Blue Level two weeks ago.

The University of Mississippi is reporting today there are 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported on campus – nine students and one faculty member.

There are no students in isolation or being quarantined in student housing.

Over the past seven days, the university reports 36 new cases, down from 138 new cases the previous week.